Water hygiene and washing on the Kokoda Trail

Water hygiene and washing on the Kokoda Trail


Water is vital for each person who living and trekking along the Kokoda Track.

For this reason you must listen to the advice of the experienced porters and guides, as they know what water ways are good to drink from. Some water ways run close to villages and have been impacted by mining in the past, so be sure to always ask before filling up.

While the water is fresh and clear, we do require trekkers to treat their water. This can be done by using water purification tablets, steripen or filter. We do suggest that you always carry purification tablets as a back up if using a steripen or filter. Suggestions for these include: Micropur that can be found at most hiking stores and even BCF stock them.

The reason for the need to purify your water is, you are not aware of if any rodents etc have died up stream, or if there is other foreign bodies in the water (this is common in the waterways for PNG).


Hygiene is very important and our cooks are required to always make sure to wash and prepare cooking utensils prior to cooking. Hygiene is not only important to our porter team but with you our trekkers, we rely on you to be clean and hygienic at all times as one sick person can spread quickly amounts the group if not handled correctly.

Clean your hands with hand sanitiser periodically during the day, before meals, before filling water bladders, after toilet stops (guys this include after you urinate), after touching your shoes or feet and any other activity where you touch unsanitary objects.

If you come down with a bug and have diarrhoea, a cold or vomiting you need to inform your guide straight away. We will take care of you and even handle your meals for you to avoid spreading the bug.


Washing and keeping yourself clean is also vial to good hygiene to help avoid skin infections.

Before you wash, be sure to ask the guide where to wash, so that you are not washing above where drinking water is sourced. At some locations there are specific areas for ladies and men.

Ladies, please be sure to wear adequate swimwear that covers your body appropriately. Do not wear only your swimwear around camp, and we suggest possibly a sarong or towel, if you do wish to do this.


Toilets are mainly pit toilets. Some have plastic or wooden seats and some do not. Be sure to place your hiking pole at the door to allow people to know that the toilet is occupied.

Toilets can be found along the track at intervals of 1-2 hours for most part of the journey. If you step off the track for a toilet stop please inform someone and leave your bag on the track as a marker if no one is in sight and it is urgent to go.